Studying with the best PSAT prep courses is a win-win when it comes to getting ready to take college admissions tests (like the SAT) as well as a chance to potentially earn a National Merit Scholarship!
How We Evaluated the Best PSAT Prep Courses
We looked at 4 major categories when evaluating the best online PSAT prep courses. These categories were: Curriculum, Pricing, Platform, and Real Student Feedback. After seeing how each course ranks in these categories as well as reading our short PSAT prep reviews, we think you’ll have all the knowledge necessary to make a great decision for your prep!
Prefer a home study program instead? Start with these PSAT prep books.
4 Best PSAT Prep Course Reviews
|1. Prep Scholar – Best Overall|
2. Princeton Review – Best Live Online
3. Kaplan – Best Unlimited Prep
4. Varsity Tutors – Best Budget
Prep Scholar’s PSAT course is only offered in an on-demand format with the option of adding on 1-on-1 tutoring for an additional cost. This is a 15+hour on-demand course that is broken out into the following time allotments:
First hour: Take a smart diagnostic test
This smart diagnostic test can be taken the first day of signing up for the course and will immediately pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.
Hours 2-10: Skill training lessons
There are 8 lessons that are one-hour each that can be accessed online from your student dashboard. Each of these lessons has three 20-minute sections: Text & Video Lesson, Focused Practice Quiz, and Quiz Review. Progressing from one lesson to the next is contingent upon whether you can prove full knowledge of the concepts.
Hours 11-14: Take a full-length practice test
You’ll work through an official full-length PSAT practice test.
Hours 15+: Continue customized prep
You’ll continue a customized study plan with additional lessons and practice tests until your test date.
The Prep Scholar results speak for themselves, as they boast an average score increase of 150 points. No other PSAT prep courses on our list display such high score increases.
This is the best PSAT prep course for: Students who are seeking a National Merit Scholarship and would like to see a significant score increase.
Princeton Review PSAT Essentials Course
Their PSAT Essentials course comes at a fraction of the cost of Kaplan for the live online option, making it our top pick for any students seeking a live online classroom option.
Like the other PSAT prep courses in this list, you will gain access to study tools such as practice tests with detailed explanations, smart reports of test performance, and the ability to practice on your weaknesses using information gathered from past test performance.
The live online course comes with a higher score guarantee, which can be a bit of a relief for students who are nervous to spend such a large amount on a single PSAT prep course.
The Princeton Review also offers college admissions consulting for students who are looking for a bit of extra guidance on the application process. You can learn more in our review of the best college admissions consultants.
This is the best PSAT prep course for: Students who prefer a live online classroom setting.
Includes 18 hours of live instruction and 5 full-length practice tests. Get 15% off with code: TPN15
- Handy and unique flashcard creation tool
- Leading, popular test prep company
- Live instruction from certified PSAT experts
- Higher score guarantee
- No physical books with online course
- No self-paced option available
Kaplan PSAT Unlimited Prep
Kaplan offers 2 different modalities for its PSAT prep – live or on-demand. Where we’d like to focus our efforts, however, is the live online method, which we feel offers a more well-rounded approach with live online and on demand access.
The Kaplan PSAT live online class meets online either once a week for 5 weeks or twice a week for 2.5 weeks. These class schedules are in the evenings or weekends, depending on your availability and are an opportunity for students to enjoy instruction from experts in real-time.
The difference between a live online course and an on-demand course with teacher support is that you can actually ask questions directly to your teacher in real-time versus emailing a teacher and waiting for him/her to get back to you. For about ~$200 more for the PSAT live online course, I think it’s worth it to have access to 15 hours with an instructor to help solve questions or problems immediately.
In each course, you will work through a comprehensive study of the PSAT strategies and topics as well as take 2 PSAT practice tests and score them. With advanced analytics, you can see your strengths and weaknesses and better adapt your study plan based on these pinpointed areas.
By the end of this course, you will have the strategies in place required to do your best on the PSAT. As mentioned, included in your PSAT live online course is the PSAT on demand course that is offered separately as its own standalone course. The 13 hours of these on demand lessons will help to solidify any new concepts or strategies you learned in class and are available for free for those who enroll in the live online.
For students who plan to next study for the ACT or SAT, you can definitely benefit from purchasing the Kaplan Unlimited Prep option. In this course, which comes at a pretty significant $1,999 price tag, you will receive access to their PSAT live online course, as well as the ACT and SAT live online course and a host of other AP review courses.
This is the best PSAT prep course for: Students who’d like to study for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT in one package.
Varsity tutors offers an extremely comprehensive and thorough live online prep course at the most affordable rates in the PSAT prep industry. Each live online class meets for 2 hours either once or twice a week for 5-8 weeks. With 16 hours of live online instruction, students can use this time to ask questions while working through problems together.
With this course, you’ll be able to work through 2 full-length practice tests, their ebook, and online access to flashcards and additional practice tests. All of these course features can be found on your Varsity Tutors client account, which can be accessed with any mobile device. To help keep you on track, you’ll be paired up with an Educational Director who will help make sure that you are meeting the goals required to do well on the PSAT.
This is the best PSAT prep course for: Students who are looking for a course that doesn’t break the bank but still provides effective curriculum and live (online) instruction.
Breakdown of Best PSAT Course by Category
We have spent a lot of time reviewing popular courses and wanted to give you a chance to see how we rank them based on the following 4 factors: curriculum, pricing, platform, and student feedback. Read on to see our thoughts for each:
Best PSAT Course by Curriculum
It doesn’t matter what bells and whistles a prep course tries to sell you on if their curriculum isn’t up to snuff. All of these courses, by being listed in our top 3 review here, have curriculum that meets our standards, but within varying degrees. Each of these courses come with different amounts of instruction hours, practice tests, practice questions, and study plans.
This course is loaded with 210+ hours of content, 7000+ practice questions, and customizable practice sets. They receive a 5 out of 5 for their study plan.
As expected by The Princeton Review, you’ll gain access to a comprehensive curriculum that includes 18 hours of live online instruction as well as access to over 2,000 questions with full explanations.
This is a completely comprehensive course that includes live or live online instruction in addition to the 13 hours of their on-demand curriculum.
This course has the highest amount of live instruction with 16 hours. The curriculum does not boast a high amount of practice questions beyond the 2 practice tests.
Best PSAT Course by Pricing
We rate these courses by their cost, but keep in mind that some courses do come with greater value. PSAT prep, overall, is quite expensive when you consider that the test is helping to prepare you for the SAT, in which you’ll still need to prep for.
If these prices are going to put you over the edge with future SAT prep courses added in the mix, then we recommend a course that prepares you for the PSAT and the SAT. The Princeton Review and Kaplan both offer these hybrid courses and may be worth looking into.
Second after Kaplan, Prep Scholar is still pretty pricey and does not include any live online instruction or significant time with experts.
Although $799 is nothing to scoff at, this is for a live online course. It comes in at nearly half the price of the Kaplan live online course!
Kaplan has the most expensive PSAT course on the market. If you hope to take the SAT in the future, you may consider lumping in SAT prep, too, with their PSAT/SAT Unlimited Course.
Varsity Tutors is one of the more affordable courses considering you get live online instruction.
Best PSAT Course by Platform
Our #1 tip for choosing a prep course with a great and intuitive platform is to try whatever trial option is available for the course. At the end of the day, you may prefer the layout and feel of one course over another or enjoy some other features that you weren’t expecting, such as the analytics, customizable practice sets, or simply just the ease of switching from one task to another.
If you do not have time to try a trial course of all of these PSAT prep courses, then you can see our platform reviews here:
Their platform has a lot of features and is powerful, but it feels a bit outdated.
All of TPR’s courses come in an easy-to-use dashboard that even your parents could navigate.
Kaplan has a clean, intuitive platform that is comprehensive and easy to use.
All materials can be accessed online and also include a feature of being accessible by their iOS and Android apps!
Best PSAT Course by Student Feedback
For being a bit less relevant in the test prep industry, Prep Scholar actually has a lot of credibility for its prep courses and most Reddit mentions describe increased scores. You can even see their reported score increases here.
Student feedback for the Princeton Review’s PSAT course is positive overall, but students do note that the practice tests on the Princeton Review are harder than the real PSAT.
Most students agree that the content covered is very similar to the PSAT and diagnostic test scores are generally close to what they score on the real PSAT.
There’s remarkably little student feedback published on Varsity Tutors detailing real student experiences with their courses.
Best PSAT Prep Course FAQ
What is the best PSAT course?
Our top choice, overall, is the Prep Scholar PSAT prep course. You’ll get a year’s access of affordable and personalized PSAT prep.
How much does a PSAT course cost?
On demand PSAT prep courses start around $299, while live online or instructor-led classes can run up to $400. Adding tutoring can increase your PSAT prep to upwards $1,000.
When should I start preparing for the PSAT?
The majority of students will take the PSAT in either the fall of their sophomore or junior year and use the summer before the test to prep for the PSAT.
Do I need a PSAT prep course?
You should be utilizing a PSAT prep plan, whether that is with a PSAT prep course or a PSAT book to guide your study plan.
Are PSAT prep classes worth it?
For those who hope to earn a scholarship with the PSAT or who plan on taking and prepping for the SAT, then taking PSAT prep classes are definitely worth the investment. You can find free courses, as well, including from Khan Academy.
Is the PSAT harder than the SAT?
The PSAT is actually a little easier than the SAT, objectively, but it may seem harder for students who have spent less time preparing for the PSAT versus those who prepare extensively for the SAT.
Bottomline on the Best PSAT Prep Courses
Regardless of the PSAT prep course you ultimately purchase, all of these courses will cover the PSAT comprehensively and, when combined with consistent practice and study on your end, should get you to the PSAT score you desire! Happy studying!
Have you tried one of these PSAT prep courses? Share your thoughts below!